BAE Systems has announced it has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture infrared seekers for the ballistic missile defense system Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system, the company said.
The sensors provide critical targeting technology that helps protect the US and its allies from ballistic missiles. The sensor design work will improve the missile defense system´s ability to neutralize more threats and improve its manufacturability.
The THAAD weapon system intercepts hostile ballistic missiles with kinetic force during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. BAE Systems´ seeker provides infrared imagery that guides interceptors to their intended targets, destroying enemy warheads inside or outside the Earth´s atmosphere. The company has been developing and producing missile defense seeker technology for more than four decades, and has delivered more than 500 THAAD seekers to date.
THAAD is an integral part of the MDA´s mission to field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system. Its high-altitude intercept capability mitigates the effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground, and its non-explosive kinetic impact minimizes the risk of detonation. THAAD is a highly effective system for addressing ballistic missile threats.
BAE Systems´ THAAD seekers are assembled, integrated, and tested at the company´s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and Endicott, New York. Portions of the design work for the next-generation seeker technology will be conducted in Huntsville, Alabama, where the company is actively hiring and building a state-of-the-art facility.